Dear Hockinson Families:
As you are probably well aware, Hockinson School District is negotiating a new contract with the Hockinson Education Association (HEA), which represents teachers, counselors and other education professionals.
Like every district in our state, Hockinson is working with the new education funding model approved by the Legislature earlier this year in response to the McCleary decision.
This model is bringing in some new money, but, like many districts across our county and the state, Hockinson has lost a significant amount of local levy funding—nearly $3 million in 2019. Our District relied on this funding to help compensate our experienced and highly educated staff, and this loss is making it difficult to fulfill requests at the negotiating table.
When we found last week that the teachers union’s request remained significantly higher than the District’s proposal, the District suggested bringing in a Public Employment Relations Commission mediator. HSD and HEA then requested this assistance together.
The teachers union voted Tuesday, Aug. 21, to authorize a strike if a tentative agreement is not reached before the start of school Wednesday, Aug. 29. We are scheduled to begin negotiations again on Sunday with the assistance of our mediator and are hopeful that we will find agreement soon.
I say I am hopeful because I know the people who will be sitting around that negotiating table. This is a group that cares for each other and respects each other. We all want the best for our Hockinson staff, our students and our District as a whole. I believe each of us is eager to get back to doing what we do best: providing high-quality instruction to our fantastic Hockinson students.
To learn more about the labor situation and to read the latest updates, please visit our Labor Relations web page at https://tinyurl.com/HSD-LaborRel. When we update the webpage, we post alerts to Facebook (@HockinsonSchoolDistrict) and Twitter (@HockinsonSD).
Important information for our families
We will alert you as soon as we know whether school will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 29.
If HEA leaders call for a work stoppage:
- Scheduled activities before Aug. 29 will be held as planned.
- The first day of school will be postponed until the work stoppage is finished.
- We will let you know the status of athletic programs at the High School and Middle School.
Depending on the duration of an HEA work stoppage, the last day of school and graduation might be affected, because the state requires 180 days of instruction each school year.
Again, please visit our Labor Relations web page at https://tinyurl.com/HSD-LaborRel for more information and updates. And if you have additional questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
Sandra Yager, Superintendent